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The Llewellyn Journal
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Well Begun is Half Done

This article was written by Barbara Moore
posted under Tarot

As the practically perfect, ever practical, and wondrously magical Mary Poppins said, “Well begun is half done.” Wise words to keep in mind when facing a New Year. For me, memories of a clean book bag, empty notebooks, and new shoes planted the notion of autumn as the time for new beginnings firmly in my psyche. Although that impulse still remains, January is fast developing its own special appeal. With the holidays over and the novelty of cold weather and warm clothes wearing thin, the thought of four more months of a Minnesota winter just about does me in. Right when I need it the most, the calendar hands me a gift—a fresh, shiny new year, with no mistakes in it (or “no mistakes in it yet,” as Anne Shirley always said).

As you snuggle in and let January work its alchemy, keep your tarot cards handy. They’ll be useful as you identify your goals and map your journey. Once you know where you want to go and how you’re going to get there, the work is half done.

You may have several areas in your life where you desire change. The following spread can be used over as needed for each area. Reshuffle your deck each time for each area (that is, you’ll want all the cards available when reading for each area). If you have several decks, select a deck for each area and leave the readings out so you can see them all together. This works out nicely because you can look for repeating themes or patterns that yield additional information.


1. Go through your deck and pick a card that you think represents the area of your life that you seek to improve.

Now shuffle the deck and lay out the rest of the cards as you would for any reading.

3. Strength: this is what you already have and can use as you move forward.
4. Challenge: this is what you will face and by facing it create the change you seek.
5. Help: this is where you can find help; it can be a person, a technique, an area of study, an activity or action, etc.
6. Next Step: this is what to do next in facing the challenge.
2. Outcome: this is the goal or outcome; what this area of your life will look like at the end of this phase of the journey.

It is important to remember that this spread will take you through your journey to achieving your goal one step at a time. As your year progresses and you achieve this particular leg of the journey, do the spread over to plan for the next phase. Repeat as needed until you’ve reached the goal you sought.

In addition to achieving goals and creating change in your life, you may want to improve your knowledge of tarot, explore new decks, use new techniques, or increase your reading skills. There’s no time like January to devise and embark on a plan to take your tarot to the next level.

Whatever you want to do, remember: know where you’re going and make a plan to get there…and you’re already halfway there.

Barbara MooreBarbara Moore
In the early 1990s, at a party, someone put a tarot deck in Barbara's hands; she's held on tightly ever since. Tarot provides just enough structure so that we don't get lost as we explore the mysteries, plumb our dark corners, and locate our North...  Read more


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